Chad Thiessen Product Manager, Conveyors and Augers, Meridian Manufacturing

When planning a seed site, there are a few things that we have learned along the way that help set customers up for near-term and long-term success.

While meeting immediate needs may be front and center in your mind, it’s important to think long term. You might only need three seed bins right now, but where do you want to be five years from now? What’s your plan for growth? Maybe from a planning standpoint, we need to allow room for 10 bins.

Another example of thinking long term has to do with the underbin conveyor system. You might not need one now, so you build the bins to standard specifications. But in five years, with your growth, you might decide that it would be helpful to have an underbin conveyor. If your bins aren’t built with enough clearance, it’s difficult to modify.

The other thing to think about is bin location. Are they all together and set up in a row? Or do you have a few here and few there? What does that do to the efficiency of your overall system?

Having a growth plan and being able to talk through it is very helpful to both you and us.

We also need to take into consideration the type of seed or the commodity being handled. What are you working with now, and what might you work with in the future? How sensitive is the product to contamination?

The way our underbin conveyor is designed, minimizes the risk of any contamination. The trough is formed by rods running underneath the belt, so it’s an open system. This is especially beneficial in cold climates where moisture can get trapped and cause your belt to freeze. From a control standpoint, we also have a reverse option, which allows the conveyor to run both ways.

For example, if 90 percent of my seed needs to go to the treater, I can take it from the bin to the treater. And that other 10 percent, reserved for Customer X, with no treatment can go straight to the truck, easily bypassing the treater.

Another factor to consider is capacity. How much product do you need to move (bushels per hour). This impacts the number of storage bins and the size of storage bins you’ll need.

When we do our initial site visit, I’m looking at space limitations, the power that’s available and trying to understand exactly what it is you want to accomplish.